Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Barack Obama and White Bigotry

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
--Robert Kennedy

“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities
that make all men human and, therefore, brothers."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, the daddy is thinking about the article that humorist Andy Borowitz wrote for Truthdig. It's an attempt to poke fun at America and racial bigotry n this country. Borowitz writes:

"Pundits and pollsters alike have wondered about the role racists might play in the 2008 presidential contest, but the new survey released today was the first concrete attempt to take the pulse of this key voting bloc.

The poll, conducted by Duh Magazine, suggests that Mr. Obama faces an uphill battle in his effort to win the votes of dyed-in-the-wool bigots.

“We wanted to know, why isn’t Barack Obama closing the deal among racists?” said Charles Plugh, editor in chief of Duh. “The answer seems to be because he’s black.”

In a head-to-head match up, likely bigots chose Sen. McCain over Sen. Obama by a margin of 1,000 to 1, with a majority of racists saying they “strongly disagree” with Sen. Obama’s decision not to be white."

Borowitz, I know humor is your thing and that we all need humor in our lives. But the daddy wants to ask you four questions:

1. With the United States engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on the brink of becoming engaged with another in Iran; with the United States unemployment rate at 6.1% (the highest it has been in years) and climbing; with so many Americans losing their homes to foreclosure; with so many middle income Americans being unable to keep up with things like childcare payments, mortgage and car payments; and have maxed out their credit cards to keep their heads above water-- do you really think this brand of humor is funny anymore, if it ever was?

2. Can you begin to even imagine how angry this must make African Americans of all political persuasions-- Democrat, Republican, Independent, Progressive-- feel, knowing that, after all the cotton they've picked, all the wars they've fought, after all the contributions they've made to this country, one of their own who is smarter, younger and has the best ideas is not picked to be president solely because of his race?

3. Don't you think it's time to call out racist white Americans, including white women supporters of Hillary Clinton, for their failure to come into the 21st century and elect Barack Obama and then push him to implement policies to hlep working Americans?

4. Don't you think that what's left of our declining economy and fledgling democracy depends on it?


Nicki Nicki Tembo said...

Many a truth are said in jest.

Vigilante said...

MacDaddy, Nothing divides me more from Obama than his attempt to move forward, past the last eight years, letting by-gones be by-gones. I wanted this election to be a referendum on the Busheney politic, policies and legacy. BHO wants bipartisan reapprochment. As far as the modern GOP is concerned, that's akin to making love to a scorpion. It wasn't until the Iowa caucus that I realized that Barack was, if anything, overqualified to assume the office of POTUS on 'day-one'. So my yard signs went up in February. I still deplore his reluctance to run against Bush I & II. I don't think you can effectively run against Bush III & IV, unless you run against the first two gangstas, too. But I agree with you. There is so much riding on this election, I am afraid to utter any notes of negativity. Don't know how much longer I can hold my tongue.

MacDaddy said...

nicki: I know you speak the truth. But I'm reaching beyond Jon Stewart/Colbert humor, which I realize can, at times, be very effective. But people should be mad as hell that this country is going into the toilet. I think all The Clintons, all the surrogates, should be swamping talking about this right winger in lipstick Palin; and they should have done it the day after her stupid speech at the RNC.
I think these surrogates should be going after McCain as being another Bush, a guy who voted in lock step with Bush in bringing this country to its present state. I think people should be mad about it.
vigilante: Exactly. How can you move ahead without making it clear to the American people what Bush has done and giving clear evidence that McCain and his party enabled it and will do the same?

There was a lot of talk at the dems convention about how important the election was, but, truthfully, I don't see a lot of anger, urgency or comittment to make sure Obama is elected. So far, Obama has run an okay campaign, but what I'm seeing now is an Obama campaign that is lackluster; and i'm seeing sorry surrogates like the Clintons and Biden that are not getting their asses in gear.

Anonymous said...

When you have a "gang" that's bullying another group, do you fight back using
(a) civil tactics / discourse, or
(b) adequate "force" to set clear boundaries for gang members.

I'm a pacifist at heart, through and through, but have seen many good and smart people kicked around by bullies. One friend now says he fights back b/c they (aggressive bullies in suits) don't understand subtle signals. Civil calm discussion is seen by them as weakness.

So, I guess I'm saying that we need some of our own "attack dogs" from within the Democratic party. If McCain's got himself a pit bull, we need to unleash a bigger, fiercer dog!!!!!!!!

Nun in the Hood said...

MacDaddy, I agree with you that the BULLIES are doing their darndest to pull this compaign into the toilet....It is UNBELIEVEABLE...My only hope is that Senator Obama IS speaking out against the slanderers, smearers, and their lies....A LOT can happen in the next 50 days or so....I have always been awed by the ultimate words of Ann Frank as she went to the Holocaust ovens...."I STILL BELIEVE IN THE BASIC GOODNESS OF PEOPLE." I want to beleive that goodness will prevail in November....WHERE will we go if it does not....I cannot fathom 4 more years in this country with more Bush policies....

patti t said...

It is sad when a presidential campaign can bank on winning the presidency based on personality and image versus the issues and record of the candidates. But that is exactly what McCain's camp is banking on and they are not even afraid to say it publicly. And people like Borowitz can use humor all they want when it comes to race, but it doesn't take away the real truth about the reality race/racism and even hatred play in Obama becoming president. today's worl

rainywalker said...

If Sen. [not Mr.] Obama does not get elected in this election my conscious will be clear. Others and history will have to live with the blot, the stain on our nation.

Somebodies Friend said...

This country always did have that really thick crust on it, didn't it. I thought by now, Obama could have at least chiseled a nice size hole in the crust aka social bigotry.

But I guess the racists of this country are going to fight to the bitter end to make sure they keep Obama out of the White House.

The funniest part of the whole scenario is that the policies that the McCain/Palin ticket want to carry over from the present administartion affect every one of them also, and I mean every one of them.

One day in the middle of his term, McCain just may wake up to the fact that those policies of opression are killing him in the polls.

If he wins, and God knows it kills me to even think that, the American people might rise up against him, screaming for his impeachment, and wanting his head on a platter.

It's just a premonition that I had a while back. Don't quote me!

Kellybelle said...

I just sigh when I hear about people who won't vote for Barack because of race. I give props to the people who can come right out and say it. But really.
I have a friend who is white and I loaned her a book on the Civil Rights movement. She's been reading it intently and took a break. She said sadly "I couldn't read anymore about people getting killed."
She is one of the brightest people I know, and she had never learned abt Black people's history in this country. The attempt to sweep history under the rug is at the root of all this. And the racist know some unfairness went down. That's why they're scared.

Anonymous said...

I just listened to BBC World News. They talked about the presidential race in "ho hum" tone that echoes my feeling precisely. They first interviewed an American small business owner who was hurting financially, and then put up on the screen the 2 candidates, with the caption below that stated simply:
"Can we please get serious?"
They then commented that the candidates were more busy talking about "farm animals" and putting each other down and talking about the issues.
My question is: How can we DEMAND that we get back to focus on the issues? My only thought is to boycott U.S. media and just get news through European outlets. By the way, I just took the on-line test to immigrate to Canada -- just in case McCain gets in.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Mac, I thought the comedian did call out the 4 ton elephant in the kitchen.
If Obama were white, this race would be all but over. McCain's camapign would be treated like the absurdity that it is. Sadly, the race is competitive because of the still huge faction of racist pricks in Amurkkka.
I heard Obama speak this morning about education. He dripped with information and ideas. Then McCain was aired. His speech was nothing but attacks and rhetoric. . . still, they are neck and neck.

MacDaddy said...

"I just sigh when I hear about people who won't vote for Barack because of race."
kellybelle: So do I.
sagacious: Yes, at least said that some people won't vote for him is due to racism. But I've been reading a lot of so-called liberal blogs and find them wanting. Except for a few, they lack the passion to match the urgency of the moment. They're funny, they're sarcastic, they're ironic; and, if I didn't know anybody, I wouldn't know just how bad how economy is, how people are losing their homes, how jobs and, in some cases, whole companies are pulling up stakes and leaving the country and going to third world countries, destroying whole communities in some rural and semi-rural communities. It's as if this is some sort of game, and not real live stuff involving real people's homes, jobs, health and communities. If you see something different, please let me know. I would welcome it. Thanks.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

MacDaddy: Pleased to make your acquaintance. I've seen your comments around and have always liked them. I enjoyed this post immensely. I'm known for writing long posts and long comments (My parents and sister are writers and editors; I'm in finance -- the disgrace of the family!) also I've been living in exile in Panama for most of Bush's 2nd term and having grown up fluent in Spanish and English, it was a natural spot for me but I don't speak any English anymore! So, I tend to go on with the pent up thoughts in English about America when I'm on blogs. Most people indulge me. Don't feel obligated!

I can't vote, but I'll always be a Democrat and I share your frustration even though I'm White. I'm a pretty poor excuse for a White American being, short, with a dark complexion, of Russian parents who spoke Spanish, but as an American I was WHITE. As a panameno I'm a "judio ashkenaz."

Panama is so very blind to the race, skin color, ethincity thing that it has no effect whatsoever on the ordering of society but at the same time people use "identity" descriptions all the time because of the relative paucity of first and last names. It's no big deal.

Probably because I'm used to living this way and because we just had a primary for the nomination to represent the governing center-left PRD against the center-right PP and right-wing UP. Balbina Herrera the dark-skinned woman and (oh no!!!) professional ward politician easily beat her wealthy White opponent whose family owns the country's largest distillery.

Race was never an issue. In fact, Herrera was the better candidate and got huge majority of the White vote.

So, I every time I look at this wretched election in the US, I get nauseated. I'm with VIGILANTE, Obama was hardly my first choice BECAUSE he had been so careful to present a "bi-partisan" "unthreatening" image, doing things like having Joe Lieberman as a mentor in the Senate, getting close with Pat Robertson and Rick Warren, advocating strongly for the death penalty and the maintainance of GITMO, being against single-payer health. I favored Kucinich, then Paul, then Clinton. The first two on ideas, the third because I knew she'd fight McCain.

Nevertheless, although I like the Clintons, I was very happy with Obama as a candidate exactly WHEN he got tough and specific and sophisticated -- all the stuff that are deemed his "negatives" in the mainstream media.

I'm 47 and I cast my first vote for Jimmy Carter over Reagan and my last vote for Kerry. I think Obama or Bill Clinton are the best Democratic candidates I've seen so far. There wasn't all that much difference though between Bill Clinton and Bush Sr and Dole.

The difference in ability between the Obama/Biden ticket and McCain/Palin ticket is the largest difference I've ever seen in a US presidential election. Neither Gore nor Kerry were as superior to Bush as Obama is to McCain and when you add in the Biden/Palin factor, it's a joke.

Obama should have already run away, hid and chosen a decorator for the White House by now. He should be 30 up on McCain. Without any data to back this up, I believe that race accounts for most of it. There's the overt racism of a White person being unable to vote for a Black person. There's something worse than that even. There's the tableaux of the Obama family which is about as successful and wholesome as it gets and that's a tougher nut for the average American to swallow. That's why --unbelieveably, but all too believably -- Barack Obama's having gone to Columbia/Harvard Law and Michelle Obama's having going to Princeton/Harvard Law, both having received offers from Sidley & Austin but both doing what they seem to love just BOTHERS White Americans at the core. They feel a sense of inferiority when faced with this impressive family and thus what makes Barack Obama an ideal candidate for president, his brains, sophistication, poise, and drive, are NEGATIVES.

Meanwhile, McCain's bellicosity and Palin's vacuity are big POSITIVES.

While I've criticized Obama about many things policy wise in the past, there's nothing he could do to convince me, the Republic of Panama or the rest of the world that he isn't the right person for the job by a wide margin.

There is a tremendous amount of dislike for White America over this all over the world even in majority White countries like Switzerland. Considering that even a small but economically powerful country like Panama has over a trillion dollars of US government debt. God knows how much Switzerland has.

I can't really blame McCain. He's a very bad person, none too bright, and kind of dangerous but he's running the kind of racial/religious race he has to to win. Obama has gone overboard covering every base. There's not much more he CAN even do at this point, he's made the case for himself so well.

I was going to write something disagreeing with you about the "humor" piece. It was corny to be sure but listen Obama needs all the ultra-wealthy Hollywood support and money he can get, so what? On second thought, moonlighting as a humorist Andy Borowitz is kind of a mainstream media figure as much as Wolf Blitzer or Campbell Brown are. We know both of them are in the tank for McCain.

So, yeah. In the end I agree, there is something a little distateful about the humor piece.

Nice post.

MacDaddy said...

kelso: Welcome and thanks for the kind words. In terms of comments, I tend not to delete any, unless they are rude to someone else who comments. I don't care what people say about me.
The thing I want you to hear is that I trust that you will do your own editing. Please try to keep to the point. Oftentimes, it's the briefest comments that are the most effective.

By the way, I find how other countries view our election as fascinating. I think my readers would also. So, from time to time, let me know what you guys are thinking, okay?

Vigilante said...

Kelso, an excellent comment, the best of which was:

The difference in ability between the Obama/Biden ticket and McCain/Palin ticket is the largest difference I've ever seen in a US presidential election. Neither Gore nor Kerry were as superior to Bush as Obama is to McCain and when you add in the Biden/Palin factor, it's a joke.

Obama should have already run away, hid and chosen a decorator for the White House by now. He should be 30 up on McCain. Without any data to back this up, I believe that race accounts for most of it....

I wanted some Democrat to pulverize the warparty of Busheney, to spank them into obscurity for a decade or more. I saw Obama, and thought maybe there's something besides repudiation and retribution to think about. Maybe something positive can be settled about American history - in this year - which is more important than my personal wish for revenge against the GOP gangsters. Obama, if anything, was over-qualified for the POTUS. So, I asked myself, "If not now, when?" And planted Barack signs in my front yard. Because I wanted my country to do something that would make me proud again.

Kelso doesn't sound nuts to me. Kelso makes perfect sense. It's me. I wanted too much to believe in too much.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

No Daddy, I don't see anything different.
We SHOULD be in a rage.

MountainLaurel said...

You've posed important questions. Here are my answers.

1. Actually, yes. I think that when we make jokes about ridiculous situations, it can cause people to see their own actions in a different light. And racism is quite a ridiculous situation.
2. No. Being a white woman I think it would be presumptuous of me to think so. I don't think you can understand those things, really understand them, unless you experience them. I can a little, being a woman and having experience sexism, but not really.
3. Yes. And that includes racist attitudes in my own thinking. They are not strong and I fight them, but as Kelso pointed out, as an American they are there. Recognition is the first step to eradication.
4. Beyond time. As you say, we can't afford it otherwise.

MacDaddy said...

mountain: Thanks for your insights.